With all the excitement abuzz about the upcoming release of Adobe Creative Suite 6, Adobe has decided to keep its longtime fans and followers a chance to peek under the hood at the most anticipated application in the Creative Suite.
Adobe has placed a free, public beta version of Photoshop CS6 for download at Adobe Labs. This is a full, working, save-enabled version of Photoshop and it promises to be most exciting series of changes and addition to features in the entire history of Photoshop.
Besides those changes in appearance, Mini Bridge has also changed and is now a film strip panel to better match Lightroom and Elements.
For starters, it looks different. Once you open it, you’ll see a darker appearance. It looks more like its companion app, Lightroom as well as other programs like Premiere Pro, After Effects and the new Edge. Don’t worry if you don’t like the new look. There will be four shades available in the Preferences>User Interface area. If you want to switch it back to the shade it was in Photoshop CS5, not a problem! There’s a setting for that. And these changes were not just for window dressing. The UI was totally reworked with all new controls, 1000s of new icons, better alignment in dialogs, corrected grammar, etc.
If you decide to purchase Photoshop CS6 Extended, you’ll be treated to the fastest version of Photoshop ever. That’s thanks to Adobe’s new Mercury Graphics Engine. You’ll need an OpenCL/graphics card but if you have one, watch out! You’ll be faster than anything at Indy!
Did you like Photoshop’s Content Aware fills? Now get ready for the Content Aware patch and move tools. That’s right. Tools you already know how to use with the addition of the very popular Content Aware fill! This will help you make retouching your images a lot simpler and easier.
Wait til you check out the new Blur Gallery. This is a tool that will add blur to any image without masks, layers or depth maps. Bokeh effects, Tilt Shift, etc All built within Adobe’s Mercury Graphics Engine.
The Adaptive Wide Angle filter is an interactive, more natural way to correct distortions in your images.
If you’re an InDesign user, you’re already likely familiar with Paragraph and Character styles. Now the same feature has been introduced inside of Photoshop. It’s called Type Styles and it’ll speed the way you incorporate type into your images.
There’s been a lot of changes to the Layers panel. For starters, you can now search in your overall composition. You can search by layer type, attributes, and even layer name. Makes attempting to locate the proper layer in your document a lot faster without the headaches of traveling up and down the list.
Now adjustment layers and Masks share a properties panel. Color Range also has an option to intelligently recognize skin colors or all skin colors.
Familiar with the features of Photoshop and Video? You will be with the new Video editing and slide shows features. Now you can combine video and stills, like the pan and scan or Ken Burns effects – in your composition. This used to be only for Extended users, but now with so many DSLRs doing video – this is a standard feature in CS6. Uses same video encoding/decoding as Premiere and After Effects. Yes, you can now produce a movie inside of Photoshop!
And if you plan to own Photoshop CS6 Extended, you’ll have the amazing power of 3D like you never had before. Repousse is passe and in its place is a completely overhauled 3D system using Adobe Mercury Graphics Engine for 3D. Now you’ll have 3D controls at your fingertips. Along with this check out the new reflections and drag-able shadows for 3D, easy alignment and distribution of 3D objects and faster Adobe Ray Trace rendering. It’s an amazing series of changes and new features that will allow you to experiment with the power of 3D like never before.
So why are you reading this? Start downloading the new public beta of Photoshop CS6 for Mac or PC, participate in the Photoshop forums and let your imagination fly!